Whoopi Goldberg, Jasmine Guy Cast in Tracy Oliver’s ‘Harlem’ (TV News Roundup)

In today’s TV news roundup, Whoopi Goldberg and Jasmine Guy have joined the cast of Tracy Oliver’s comedy series “Harlem,” and “RuPaul’s Drag Race” will air special documentary “RuPaul’s Drag Race: Corona Can’t Keep A Good Queen Down” on Feb. 26.

CASTING

Whoopi Goldberg and Jasmine Guy have been cast in recurring roles in “Harlem,” series from Tracy Oliver and also executive produced by Amy Poehler, Dave Becky, Kim Lessing, Pharrell Williams and Mimi Valdés. “Harlem” is a single-cam comedy following the lives of four women from their college days at NYU and beyond as they navigate relationships, sex and career ambitions. Goldberg will portray Dr. Elise Pruitt, a brilliant, intense department head at Columbia University. Guy will play Patricia, Quinn’s wealthy mother who wants her daughter to let go of her dream to become a designer and settle down. The Amazon Studios series is jointly produced by Universal Television and Paper Kite Productions. Previously announced cast members include Meagan Good, Grace Byers, Shoniqua Shandai, Jerrie Johnson and Tyler Lepley.

Courtroom drama “61st Street” announced Holt McCallany and Killian Scott have been cast in series regular roles. The series, from Peter Moffat and executive produced by Michael B. Jordan, Alana Mayo and J. David Shanks, follows Moses Johnson (Tosin Cole), a promising high school athlete who is unwittingly swept up in Chicago’s notoriously corrupt criminal justice system. McCallany will portray Lieutenant Tardelli, a corrupt Chicago police lieutenant. Scott will play Rocco Andretti, a legacy Chicago police officer who is forced to question his commitment to the department when a drug bust goes awry. Previously announced cast members include Courtney B. Vance, Bentley Green, Aunjanue Ellis and Andrene Ward-Hammond. The two-season series, produced by AMC Studios, is set to begin production in March for a 2022 debut.

The CW‘s “Legacies” added Courtney Bandeko in a recurring guest star role. She will portray Finch, a student at Mystical Falls High School who is no stranger to getting into trouble. While a loner by nature, that all changes when she meets a transfer student who understands her in a way that no one ever has. Bandeko, who previously appeared in Snapchat TV‘s “Dead of Night” and Direct TV‘s “Kingdom,” is repped by AEFH.

DATES

Netflix announced comedian Nate Bargatze’s second hour-long comedy special, “Nate Bargatze: The Greatest Average American,” will premiere March 18. The special will feature Bargatze reflecting on being part of the Oregon Trail generation, meeting his wife while working at Applebee’s and being a father and husband. Troy Miller directed and executive produced the special alongside Bargatze, Alex Murray and Tim Sarkes.

RuPaul’s Drag Race” will present special documentary entitled “RuPaul’s Drag Race: Corona Can’t Keep A Good Queen DownFeb. 26 on VH1. The doc, produced by World of Wonder, will explore how the show taped its 13th season amid the pandemic, featuring unseen footage and personal stories from the queens themselves. “RuPaul’s Drag Race” made history as one of the first productions to be shot at the outset of the pandemic. Season 13 includes cast members Denali, Elliott with 2 Ts, Gottmilk, Joey Jay, Kahmora Hall, Kandy Muse, LaLa Ri, Olivia Lux, Rosé, Symone, Tamisha Iman, Tina Burner and Utica Queen.

EXECUTIVE NEWS

The National Association of Broadcasters appointed RaMona Alexander, vice president and general manager of WDBDDan York, president and chief executive officer of Cox Media Group; and Rob Babin, senior vice president, head of radio for CMG, to the NAB Radio Board of Directors, effective immediately. The appointments were made by NAB TV Board Chair Emily Barr and NAB Radio Board Chair Dave Santrella in accordance with NAB bylaws.

Discovery, Inc. tapped Patrizio Spagnoletto as global chief marketing officer for Discovery Direct-to-Consumer. He joins the company from Hulu, where he served as head of marketing, and will be based in Los Angeles, reporting to president and CEO of Discovery Internation Jean-Briac Perrette. In this newly created position, he will oversee the expansion of Discovery Plus and be responsible for subscriber acquisition, retention and growth, media and analytics, brand awareness, marketing creative development and strategy and consumer insights. Spagnoletto will lead the direct-to-consumer focused marketing team and work in close partnership with both U.S. networks and local international marketing teams.

Crackle Plus named Jeff Meier the head of programming for Crackle Plus networks, which comprises Crackle, Popcornflix, Popcornflix Kids, Truli, Españolflix, FrightPix and SVOD platform Pivotshare. Meier steps into the role from Sony Pictures, where he served as general manager and senior vice president of programming. In this new role, Meier will oversee the libraries of studio film titles and classic TV series, as well as a growing list of programming.

Gena McCarthy is departing A+E Networks as executive vice president and head of programming at Lifetime Unscripted and head of programming at FYI to “pursue new creative adventures,” per the company. She first joined a decade ago as senior vice president of reality and alternative, developing and producing series such as “Dance Moms,” “Bring It!” and “Project Runway All-Stars,” and managing ongoing production of “Project Runway.” In 2013, she joined new lifestyle brand fyi as content chief, which featured series “Married at First Sight,” “Tiny House Nation,” and other shows, before returning to Lifetime three years ago. She greenlit and developed such specials as “Surviving Jeffrey Epstein, “Wendy Williams: What a Mess!” and the upcoming “Aly Raisman: From Darkness to Light.”

LATE NIGHT

Tonight, Will Arnett, Rosamund Pike and NAV featuring Gunna will be on “Jimmy Kimmel Live.” Heather McGhee is tonight’s guest on “The Daily Show With Trevor Noah.”

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